Carneil

Carneil CNK S NT037887 1 394 110m EAF

Carniel house 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Carneedle 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Carniel 1828 SGF

The lack of early forms makes any etymology extremely tentative. It may contain G *caer ‘fort’, G c?rn ‘cairn’ or G ce?rn ‘corner’ (for which see Carnock), while the second element may be G ail ‘rock, cliff, boulder’.

According to Chalmers an urn containing many Roman coins was found when some tumuli were opened on Carneil Hill in 1774. Based on this, and perhaps also influenced by the name, Chalmers states that ‘upon Carneil Hill ... the Horestii appear to have had a strength’ (Chalmers 1887, i 110 note g). This is probably the same find referred to in the OSA: ‘Upon opening a cairn upon Carneil-hill, about 20 years ago, there was found an urn of earthenware, containing some small copper coins, but they had no inscription which could be read by those into whose hands they came’ (OSA, 134). The RCAHMS field inspector in 1953 states that no trace of cairn mounds or earthworks were found on the hill (NMRS Record Card NT08NW no. 2).

OSA (116) offers a fantastical theory of how the place got its name: ‘The adjoining eminence of Carneil Hill seems to have been the spot where a battle was once fought, probably during the time of the Danish invasion, in 1039 or 1042; and perhaps derived its name (Cairn-Neil) from one of the chieftains who fell on that occasion.’[78]

/karˈnil/ or /kərˈnil/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1